Wednesday, May 25, 2016
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Mustang police officer, Lance Duncan, helps a Gonzales Jackson III of Centennial Elementary pick out socks during ‘Shop with a Cop’ at the Yukon Target on Saturday morning. The department took three Mustang students on a Christmas shopping trip as they participated in the program with other law enforcement agencies. (Staff photo by Jon Watje)
By Jon Watje
Managing Editor 

YUKON – Rosie Gray and her son, C.J., an 11 year-old who attends Lakehoma Elementary, received a Christmas gift they will never forget. 

C.J. was given the opportunity to participate in a special program held by the Mustang Police Department called ‘Shop with a Cop.’ The program selects three children in the Mustang Public School District to go on a trip with Mustang police to do their Christmas shopping.

“When I got the phone call from C.J.’s school counselor, I was at work and was shocked when they told me that he was picked to attend the event,” said Rosie. “I was overwhelmed and excited for my son and later that evening I explained to my son the opportunity that he was about to experience and he was so excited.”

The day for C.J. and the other students started with a breakfast with police officers at the Mustang McDonald’s. After that, the students rode in the officers’ vehicles to the Yukon Target to do their shopping. The students with their designated police officers walked around the store to pick out items before heading to the Mustang Mazzio’s for lunch. The Mustang Walmart also provided wrapping supplies for the items the students picked out.  

It was the second year for the Mustang Police Department to participate in Shop with a Cop. 
“We just started doing this last year,” said Mustang Police Chief Chuck Foley. “Last year, the Yukon Police Department told us they were short of officers for the event so we stepped in. This year, my promise to many people in the community was for us to localize it more for students and families in Mustang.”

Foley said the department reached out to the Mustang School District by offering the program to certain students.

“The school counselors at Centennial Elementary, Lakehoma Elementary and Mustang Elementary all provided us with a student that they thought would be good for the program,” he said. “They can shop for themselves and for family members and the officers assist them by taking them to all the departments to look around.”

The three children were provided with a $200 budget each for their shopping trip to Target. 

“The money for the shopping was provided by private funding because we cannot use public monies to do it,” Foley said. “We were able to get a donation for $600 in the form of Target gift cards.”

Mustang police, along with agencies from Yukon and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol were on hand for the event. Foley said he had five of his officers at the event including Det. Camie McNeil, Lance Duncan, Daniel Drake, Jeff Six and Mark Bailey.

“We wanted to join up with the Yukon police like we did last year because it is a good opportunity for us to see everyone from our neighboring cities and work with them in a very positive event,” Foley said. 

Rosie expressed her appreciation for the event including her son. 

“C.J. had a blast and we both want to personally thank everyone who made this day so memorable for him,” she said. “This is definitely a Christmas that C.J. won’t soon forget.”

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